tv Washington Journal CSPAN September 6, 2010 7:00am-9:25am EDT
billion proposal during a speech on the economy wednesday in cleveland. expected to be the first in a series of measures obama will propose this fall as the administration looks to jump- start an economy that the president himself has says is not growing fast enough. we want to find out what you think about this proposal for business tax credit. the numbers -- if you want to send us a message electronically, twitter is c- span-wj and you can also send us an e-mail and that address is journal c-span.org.
so, we want to get your thoughts on this. at the numbers, again -- our first call comes from columbus, ohio. gerry on our line for independents. caller: a beautiful day. the reason america tank in 1937 -- i am in my eighties, i am an old man. to have a realize, pump give water you have to prime the pump and you have to spend money and the u.s. chamber of commerce is not spending the money. they are working with the other party. it is just ridiculous.
there is no reason why this should not be done. and i wish you guys would get on the fact that where is the money going to come from to spend a $10 trillion that the american society of civil engineers estimates it would take over the next five years to bring the infrastructure up to be-. still waiting for c-span to cover that. where do all these rich people think the $10 trillion is going to come from? host: let us move on to pennsylvania. robert on our line for democrats. good morning. caller: i had some suggestions that i think might be helpful to get this economy running rights again. it seems like over the last 50 years we probably had about 50% increase in productivity with all the automation and computers and everything else that has
been going on. it seems like all the money that came from that went to the companies and not to the people who were actually doing the work. host: what do you think about the business tax credit? caller: that kind of thing is like, it is air. it is not going to have a sense of being really on a point. i think what we need to do is get more people working and the easiest way to do that is to cut the 40-hour week to a 35-hour week. increase over time to double time instead of time and half. host: bloomfield, hills, michigan. hank on our line for independents. caller: thank you for c-span.
i have been watching the progress of this president since he has been in office and the facts are as i see, the republicans just are not doing anything. they have not done anything for working people for as long as i can remember. they are against social security. health and medicare. education. i think what the president is doing is the right thing and i think he is doing everything he can to create jobs. he has to run this gauntlet every day from the right wing and the republicans. every day, it seems like, they are just criticizing but they don't have a plan. and they have no solutions. and to me, it just doesn't make any sense. host: ron and bellevue, washington, on the line for republicans. welcome. caller: good morning, everybody.
back to the phones. philadelphia, pennsylvania, on our line for democrats. go ahead, mark. caller: rob, this is more ridiculous as it gets to be. businesses, it has been reported, are sitting on mounds of cash and they are not investing because there is no demand. there is no demand because people don't have jobs. people are up in debt. what we need to do is give tax cuts to regular working stiffs out here so that they can get money to buy products. this r&d credit is not going to do anything in the short run or maybe even in the long run. i just don't get it. another quick aside, too, cut the payroll tax? payroll taxes are social security. if people's payroll taxes are cut that means if they are getting so security they will get less money.
number two, the social security trust fund is already running a deficit as it is. that is another bad idea. host: we will leave it there. the article mentioned senator mccain accused the administration of flailing around in its economic policies. this is what he had to say. >> the fact is, if we had done this kind of thing nearly a couple of years ago we would be in a lot better shape. they are just flailing all around. every place i go in my state where people are hurting very badly, one of the major things the small business and large business people tell me is that they want some kind of certainty. i run into cba's saying i cannot tell my client what to do with their money and future because nobody knows when the next regulations going to come down, what the tax is going to be. , there is a $600 -- every transaction under $600 now has to be reported to the irs thanks
to obamacare. so, it isn't going to resolve this incredible uncertainty that large and small businesses have about their financial future. so, i hope they will do it payroll tax cut but the first thing we need to do is extend the tax cuts that are in existence of people have that certainty. host: senator john mccain yesterday on fox news sunday. our next call comes from cape cod, massachusetts. mark on our line for independents. what do you think about the president's proposals for the tax credit? caller: i think it is a good idea. i read an article recently about lincoln, a well the manufacturing that has been investing in hiring and talking about the future and when it finally does come back it will be in a strong position. so, i think it is a good idea.
obviously trying to help out as much as it can. host: would a tax credit like this affect you directly or indirectly in your current unemployment situation? caller: not currently. but something to look at. host: columbia, maryland, on our line for independents. caller: talk about the economy? you bring the gas prices down, that would help the economy. host: i am sorry, this is richard from rocky mountain, north carolina? caller: yes, it is. host: use a bringing the gas prices down without the economy? caller: because of all of the stuff going across country. host: you think it would have a bigger better effect on the economy than giving corporations tax credits for research and development?
caller: a combination, too. host: now, columbia, maryland. caller: i wanted to say that i think this is a good idea. i hope the republicans don't block it. they seem to just a block everything right now. and the senate is not very supportive. even the democrats in the senate don't seem to understand how bad things are right there. good legislation often comes either front -- from the president and the house, either gets watered down or weakened from the senate. i think what they need more of this kind of supply side-light type stuff. market economy, demand economy, people need jobs or money to spend. people who spend it right away and not people who have so much
money that they don't spend it in the economy. i think people need to get a little wiser because it seems like unfortunately the democrats and republicans are foolish and all people do is just go back and forth. if they choose republicans -- some better what happened and then go back to democrats. a i have not watched the whole weekend, but it is labor day so i hope you do something about labor today. host: thank you for your call. the article and "the washington post" goes on to say --
tacoma, washington, on our line for republicans. caller: good morning. thank you, c-span, for what you do. i am for the tax cut and hopefully that will jump start some action out here in the economy. i feel for a long time the problem has been business is going overseas to india, china, and our government allows it or even encourages it by tax breaks for corporations that do that. i have heard obama speak to the head of corporations. i think it was on a news clip. and they pretty much told him, they will do what they want to do and if there is any sort of pressure they could take more jobs overseas. something needs to be done. host: what kind of the fact you think the tax credit like this
would have in the tacoma, washington, area? caller: if they are encouraged to keep their jobs here and make it stronger manufacturing, of course it will put people to work, people will spend money. construction has been horribly hits. a depression of 4 people -- many jobs connected to construction. many people have been hurt. and the people who are responsible for that should have today -- to be, to fail. host: sorry to cut you off. moving on to conway, south carolina. one need tell on our line for independents. caller: thank you for c- span. i think it is definitely a step in the right direction. please, republicans, sent us a better spokesman, more credible
spokesman than senator mccain. he lives off of his wife's millions that she earned peddling those from an inherited family business. send us someone who has really worked out there for a living with the working stiffs and get their opinion on this. host: how would a tax credit like this affect business in the conway area? caller: i think i tax credits for business -- and we certainly need it here in south carolina with our high unemployment rate. i think it will have a benefit and where it is. but, for example, we have a lot of people who want to move to this area to retire. we have a lot of retirees and that number is increasing. and for a long time construction has been shut down because companies did not have the money. i think there is a market there for housing in this area if we can get the builders to build the bomb.
iowa, mary on our line for democrats. caller: i would think business tax cut would be a fine thing but it would only be a feather. i felt what we need to do is stop the wars, outsourcing, and we need to raise taxes on the wealthy. this business tax credits, we need more than that. we need to stop the wars. we need to stop the outsourcing and make it unprofitable and i do think that the people who are so well feet and made so much off of the economy should have some feeling for people who are out of jobs and living in tent cities. i am furious over this in -- i am really getting quite upset
about this. i don't like to see homeless, hungry people and our country and i don't like to see people overseas paying wages that are so low that no one can make a living on them and that is what we are trying to do here, too. and i am sickened by it. host: texas, david on our line for republicans. you are on all but will washington drive." caller: i am in favor of the tax credit. it seems to me just to be another part of the washington ponzi scheme in a sense that listening to analysis of this yesterday, the discussion said this is the 13th or 14th year in a row that they have extended this very same credit. they don't make it permanent or for long-term like they do so many other bills or credit, so it does not have to be
calculated in a five or 10-year budget projection or shortfall. you listened to so much of the defense of obamacare or any other long-term plans and they say that the office of budget management says this will be budget neutral 10 years out, five years out not so good, two-years out, not so good, but 10-years out it is good. they have a number of things. it earned a tax credit. a huge credit that they extend the last moment every year. the things they extends at the last moment every year, year after year so they can play budget games. i am in favor of the credits. i would certainly think -- but not that it is this new credit. it has been here forever. host: let me get your response on this part of the article on the jump page. faugh
do you think of businesses knew this would be a long-term or permanent thing they would be more likely to get behind something like this? caller: i have a web developing company. i work with contractors from different parts of the country i have had the two or three of the small businesses. i had my first small business -- during the carter administration. i cannot tell you, every time i hear people talking about this is the worst economy since the depression, where is the memory of 20% interest rates and 15% unemployment in the late '70s and 19 -- early 1980's? right now they are doing in the federal program, part of a new proposal, as i understand it, to extend and expand on the -- loans. a get -- took me 10 months to
get a loan back then and by the time it happened the interest rates have gone but 7% up to 20%. yes, in a sense that it would give companies more of their own money to do research and development, and in the sense that anything would give companies the ability to plan long-range -- there is a lot of discussion and condescension related to comments that have been made recently about china's -- communist china's government actually making better capitalist decisions than our country has been making. obviously that is not a model we want to follow but it gets to the fact that they can plan longer-term. again, not for good reasons. there is no such thing as long term planning when you have tax code that are a zillion pages. how do you plan for the long term? host: we are going to leave it there. thank you for your call. we are going to let you know about the president's week ahead. it begins making labor day
remarks in milwaukee, wisconsin. we will have coverage. for complete details, check out c-span.org. tomorrow he will welcome nato's secretary general to the white house. wednesday he will be traveling to cleveland where he will make remarks on the state of the economy and announcing this proposal for $100 billion tax credit to stimulate the economy. then on thursday he has meetings at the white house. friday he intends to hold a press conference at the white house, again, to get all the details on the president's schedule and his week ahead check out our website at c- span.org. conn. fred on our line for independents. caller: i think this proposal is good. i am from connecticut. connecticut was always a state that was so diversified in this industry that we never really
felt that the recession's until this one. the lack of manufacturing that has moved out of the state has really affected us to the point of that we have -- buildings that are blocked some blocks along better just crumbling -- g.e. buildings that are blocks long and a crumbling. renting buildings that are burned down. we need to get industry back. i think we need to be taxing the imports that come in from the slave labor countries. that is really the problem. is this similar to reagan's trickle-down economics that he proposed 25 years ago? host: you tell me. the you think it is similar? >> if business has money to hire people and have an incentive to manufacture back in this country, certainly would do the trick. it seems that we are back in the
late 1980's. host: fred it in connecticut. as we mentioned, today is labor day and we want to take a look at a couple items in the paper related to that. first, this editorial from "the washington post." labor day has been around for a surprisingly long time. in "the washington times" this morning, "union labour's lost."
next up is gardner, north carolina, on our line for democrats. lynnette. caller: i am an agreement with the law -- with a lot of what fred from connecticut said. we are -- i would also like to save money given for companies willing to take part in a new industrial revolution for america. where we start making our own clothes, our own shoes, our
proposal for a $100 billion tax credit. jacksonville, florida, on our line for republicans. . ller: good morning, rober thank you britta, col. host: good morning, sam. how were you? caller: good morning, rob. the year me? host: i do, sam, go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. mccain is right. obama is just flailing around. his trillion dollars stimulus had not worked. we lost all of that money. taxpayers are going to have to pay that back. and coming along is that obamacare, another trillion dollars we don't have. thanks to obama my wife after 26 years lost her job, the school
system. she had to retire early. he is the worst president i think we have had since carter. and he is going to go down as big time -- democrats are going to go down the big time come november. they know it and they are scared. and obama is just going around speaking and double talking. it is not going to work. host: you don't think this $100 billion tax credit, if it goes through congress, would affect the employee does situation in jacksonville? caller: yes, if the liberals are not going to pass it. we will say. eds could you think it will take support from folks like senator mccain and other republicans in congress to get it passed? caller: yes, the bubble can go
along with it if the liberals will. -- republicans would go along with it if the liberals will. host: welcome. caller: thank you for c-span. i think mccain has lost credibility with regards to the economy. disappointed guru -- his appointed guru said there is nothing wrong with the economy and america's -- americans are a bunch of whiners. dismantling some rules. anything mccain says i am not really going to pay attention to. with regards to the tax credit, i am not sure it will help us. i worked for general electric. what they will do is develop products and then go and build them in red china. how that helps the american economy, i don't see it. i think it is probably worse because companies like du pont
give a tax credit to the employers to bring jobs back to america, and there will be more jobs. host: it sounds like what this tax credit might do. caller: it is plain and simple. if the republicans would stop spending more time trying to find things wrong with the president instead of helping in, it would be all right. he would do -- is doing a great job. give a tax credit to keep jobs in america. companies that bring jobs back. and that would stop a whole lot of our problems. host: shirley on the line from atlanta, georgia. you are on the line. thank you, thank you, thank you. caller: this hundred billion dollar tax credit, i am all for it but i would like to see a caveat that instead of just research and development, that it also be extended to some on- the-job training program for
people who are not technologically competent. i would also like to see them give a credit to some of the credit card companies and the banks so that they can cut these interest rates in half and let people pay less money and we can get some of the money back to the economy. so people have money to spend instead of taking all the money trying to pay down the credit card. host: paul krugman has an up ed -- op-ed in "the new york times."
conn. isaac on the line for independents. what he thinks about the president's proposal? caller: i think he will just be giving a tax credit to all of the corporation's, and the tax credit will go right over the heads of the common people and right to the pockets of the corporations. i would really like to comment on the tax cuts that it going to expire in december. they were supposed to expire for people -- households making
250,000 or more, is that right? host: right. caller: with all of the inflation we will see in the next 10 or 15 years, $250,000 is basically going to be the middle class. i think we need to raise that to say 500 or $1 million. because we are going to see some major inflation in the next 10 to 15 years. host: ok. thanks for your call. in "the baltimore sun," netanyahu would require a fresh approach.
bowie, maryland. chris on our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: i think the tax cuts are kind of bad. giving money away to rich people. i'm against it. so -- host: you don't think the rich people with those tax credits would create more jobs in the united states? caller: it creates jobs for china so i do not think it is good for america. host: alright, we will leave it there. "the chicago tribune" this morning in -- and jobs heading in the balance. in limbo with a senate filibuster. you can read it on hard copy or
online at chicagotribune.com. springfield, illinois. gene on the line for republicans. caller: the gentleman from texas, i believe, kind of hit the nail on the head regarding the fact that the tax credit has been around for quite a while but it was basically renewed on an annual basis. a lot of the chirping not only from the republican side but from the media also has been crying out that businesses are waiting and holding on to their cash, their assets, and holding off plans based on the fact that there is uncertainty about what the obama administration is the winter due. that is right there a sign -- an example of what people are talking about. if this has been going on for an annual basis for all of the time and now they are only getting
around to doing it, i think it is a good thing but it is also a signal of what people have been crying about. one other point about the economy itself in general from the standpoint of the grass roots level, i think people are obviously holding on to their money, spending a lot less, saving, consuming less. when they see the government go out and implement all of these spending programs, that is where i think the backlash is coming from regarding some of these policies. thank you very much. enjoy your program. host: in "the washington times" this morning, american muslims take precautions for 9/11 anniversary.
back to the phones. north carolina on our line for independents. what is on your mind? what he think about the president's proposal, $100 billion tax credit? caller: a drop in the bucket. our economy needs a major overhaul. it is like going to the doctor for chest pains and you are diagnosed with major cardiac problems and the doctor prescribes an aspirin and says go home. that is about the analogy of this tax credit. president obama has already promised $140 billion of taxpayer money to go to the international monetary fund. $60 billion of the bank bailout went to oversees foreign banks. this money we will never gets back. we need a major overhaul -- we
need to do away with this tax system that we have, we need to do away with the federal reserve. we need to go back to the constitution, let congress be responsible for the economy, like the gestapo -- they are supposed to be, and monitor our economic system. host: economic overhaul, give us an example. caller: the tax system needs to go -- we should not be taxing people wages or labor. we should have a fair tax system, or a direct tax, like when you buy something. congress is spending way too much money. they have been way out of control for years. we need to turn the economy back to a free-market system, supply and demand and competition. host: "the boston globe," this morning, their lead talked about
the kickoff of election season. three gubernatorial rivals, legislative hopefuls. frank phillips writes -- election season getting underway in massachusetts as well as across the country. on our line for democrats. caller: i would like to say that tax credits would be good. but obama can do nothing, the democrats can do nothing by themselves and i will say to the republicans are not going to help them at all. but after the 15th of september things will be much better for the democrats and they will hold
on to the house and senate. host: what happens on the 15th of september? caller: in major as a logical planetary arrangement takes place. -- astrological planetary arrangement. the polls -- pluto turns direct and brings back our hero. host: a little bit of politics and astrology. if the line for republicans. caller: did you say buffalo? host: it is bethel? is that near woodstock? caller: not really. tax breaks for businesses -- they bail out wall street and give them all the money. what about the poor and middle class that suffered under bush -- or actually suffered under
every president but the most corrupt and worse present we had in the history of the country, president bush and people want obama to straighten it out in two years? it is insanity. any money that they have should be given to the plot -- poor and middle-class. spend money where they can make money. the other thing that needs to happen -- host: you don't think that by giving businesses these tax credits that they cannot make money in the united states by hiring more u.s. workers and producing more products here in the united states? caller: historically has not worked? and did not live like everybody else. like the liberal media lie -- it is just another lie they keep telling us. if you give money to the poor and middle-class -- i mean, they
work longer hours and get paid less and it has been decreasing since reagan took over. clinton put it back to some semblance of normalcy. but it is still criminal. host: we will leave it there. officials says obama back the tax credits, the story in "the philadelphia enquirer." their reporting includes a this --
zephyr hills, florida, on our line for independents. caller: what i can't understand is how we got democrats and republicans, they both stand off and the corner and blame the other and when they get into office they did not do anybody any dam good. i have not seen a raise in my social security. saying the cost of living did not go up. everything in florida went up. gasoline, my rent, taxes on the car. everything went up. where is my money? i cannot vote myself a raise like all the bozos. host:% you are in a fixed income situation -- caller: damn right, i am. host: this tax credit, would this have an effect on how you live your life? caller: it would help the little business guy but he already
bailed out the big buggers and they just sat back and laughed and now they are going along and making more money. host: we are going to leave it there. we are going to go to lake charles, louisiana. ken on our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: good morning. how are you doing? host: doing fine. we are running out of time. caller: i agree with the tax credit, everything obama is trying to do but just that the republicans are just hardheaded and and they see -- like sharks in the water right now. they see blood and they are going after it. as far as mccain, you know, we need campaign reform, you know? host: we are going to leave it there. we are going to take a short break and when we come back a discussion on u.s. employment trends on this edition of "washington journal." today is september 6, labor day. we will be right back.
>> this week on "the communicator's" competitive market of pay tv with the showtime and chairman and sony pictures technology's president. tonight on c-span2. congress returns from break next week. here is a look at some of our prime time programming right after president obama's speech tonight. what town hall meetings with republican oklahoma -- oklahoma senator and independent bernie sanders, who both talked about health care.
>> i believe the plan is for this plan to fail. as a matter of fact, i know this plan will fail. health insurance is going to be way too high. you are going to create what is called adverse selection. anybody young that is healthy, you will pay the fine in 2014 rather than spend 7000, 8000, $9,000 on insurance. it is smart because if you get sick, they got to cover you. it does not rise to $795 until 2016. what is going to happen? the healthy young people are not going to be in the insurance pool. what is going to happen to the people over 40 who are sick? what is going to happen to the cost of their insurance? that is why i think they designed it to fail because ultimately they would like for it to back and say, we told you, insurance will not work. we need a government run, mandated, government proposed single payer health care system. >> in my view, if we are serious about having a cost effective
high quality health care system which guarantees health care to every man, woman, child, the way to go is a medicare for all single payer system. if the vermont leads the country, you are absolutely right, that we will be deluged with lobbyists and big money because if the small state of vermont, all 630,000 people, if we can show that medicare for all single payer works, then new york is not fall behind, the new hampshire, california, the rest of the country. >> we will show them in the entirety right after rearing of the president's speech tonight here on c-span. >> "book tv" continues primetime, tomorrow, the editorial writer on the textbook industry and writing her own, including her 10-volume "the history of us."
"book tv" and prime time tuesday on c-span2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: tara sinclair is here to talk about employment programs. the president is traveling to milwaukee, wisconsin, to make remarks for labor day. what do you expect he is going to say and what do you want to hear from the president's that sort of -- the president that gives you and the american people an understanding that he understand what the current employment situation is? guest: i think he will continue to and the size that the numbers were heard on friday were more positive than expected. the new number from the labor department suggesting the private sector is creating jobs -- not as much as they would like -- but jobs are being created in the private sector. i think he will continue on the
path of at least hinting toward further economic stimulus that is hopefully going to create even more jobs. host: in the orange county register that have the lead story, a shift in jobs is on the horizon. future hiring will mainly benefit the highly skilled. does that mean that the folks who are not as highly skilled will be left behind the desk? guest: that is a pattern that has been going on for some time. the labor department came out with a report not to long ago where they actually showed that jobs for people with high school degree and below have not really seen employment growth since 1992. host: ok. so what is on the horizon? is it going to take more training and retraining for these unskilled workers or will they just rolled over? guest: i think we are going to be seeing a lot of changes in the structure of our economy in the next decade or so. part of that, hopefully we will
continue to see an emphasis on college education with president obama has been pushing for, seymour people go to college. but we might also see some of these green john's. growth in the service sector. were some of those might be the types of jobs people can be trained on the jobs rather than the classroom. host: in "the philadelphia inquirer" is this headline. unemployment rose, but so the private-sector hiring. mcclatchy newspapers's kevin hall wrote -- exiting payrolls as the work was complete, the census workers.
so, it sounds like they are not ready to commit -- employers are not ready to commit fully right now but they are going to hire these folks part time to see how things work out and maybe later on in the fall or winter they will come back and say we will keep you on full time. guest: exactly. this is a really positive signal. it is a relatively small number but moving again and positive direction where you see firm start to hire temporary workers and also increasing over time. using their own workers to a greater extent. that easily is an indicator hiring will pick up in the future. host: talking to tara sinclair from george washington university, assistant economics professor. the conversation is about u.s. employment trends. if you want to give us a call -- our first call comes from
richmond, virginia. randy on our line for republicans. caller: i have a question -- or a common. -- comment. i wanted to give you a personal compliments on your last segment. you were very professional -- not just cracking of about the planets alignments on september 50. host: thank you a lot. thank you for your questions or comments. caller: i saw on msnbc about the secretary of labor was talking about the large portion of money being invested in this high tech training. doing some investments there. i work in a very high tech field and i have been unemployed for over eight months. i have plenty of security. my question is, how do you think that will trace how those funds
will help of the lower income, or as you were saying, just high-school educated person in the workforce? i believe it would be a good step, but it will not help anything in the here and now to get any kind of education in the high-tech industry -- you at least need a four-year degree. guest: that is true. if you are looking in the high- tech industry in particular, most of those jobs to require a four-year agreed and that is where president obama's emphasis of getting more people into college and people later in life, is a good step in that direction. host: the next up is a middletown, new york, the line for independents. caller: my comment concerns the economic downturn in which i think business in general was the delighted to be able to cut
their forces down. something they ordinarily would not be able to do but they were able to do this, and now i think the future of employment is. -- bleak. i think you are going to see just highly skilled labor, you are going to see plenty of temporary hiring, agency, but i think the future of employment is bad. everybody is asking, why isn't business hiring? they are not hiring because they don't have to. they are still producing at a level they were producing prior to the downturn, and now they have a 10% to 20% lower cost to do that, to perform that, which is a bonanza for shareholders and stockholders. i think it is going to take something -- i don't know what -- to force businesses to hire again because they really do not want to. host: that was david from
middletown, new york. kind of tied into the question we proposed earlier in this program about the president's call for a $100 billion tax credit. do you see this as pumping of the economy, getting businesses to hire workers and getting the economy worked -- moving again? guest: i think there are a number of aspects. we saw productively -- productivity grow, so firms were able to get more output out of even a smaller number of workers, which was good for the firms and stockholders. but we expect over the longer- term firms will want to produce even more stuff and they are going to want to hire more workers. with the tax credit, hopefully that will encourage them to produce more stuff up sooner. host: greenville, north carolina, on the line for democrats. welcome to "washington journal." caller: what i want to say is a lot of friends of mine that are
in the area of economics and what ever, -- whatever, were telling a story, all of the republicans are totally against this president. my heart goes out to president obama. they are criticizing him on how early heat gets up from sleep -- everything, anything. it is a crying shame hal all of this is coming out against the people -- the poor people and the middle-class people are being crushed to death. the republicans know this and they are having a hoo-haw and they have secret meetings and
tea party. host: is there support for the president's proposal among republicans on capitol hill or will they have to rely on just democratic support? is there a bipartisan line to walk down? guest: i cannot speak particularly on the partisan -- politics aspect, republicans are just looking at it from different directions than the democrats are. republicans are looking at a little more long-term strategy, focusing on getting businesses to hire and incentives to get businesses to hire, which might look from a democratic perspective as being about giving more high income people more money or lower taxes to, but from a republican perspective, it is about cutting taxes which will encourage firms to hire more workers. host: in "the philadelphia inquirer" on sunday they had a chart from the bureau of labor statistics that looked at jobs gained or lost last month.
and health care, the change from belli, numbers went up 28,000. professional business services, up 20,000. construction, 19,000. hospitality industry, 13,000. education, up almost 5000. but then in real estate, down 3000, retail bell up almost 5000. manufacturing down 27,000. and the government -- and this is primarily census workers, 21,000. what do these numbers guest: some of those numbers are not at all surprising. we expect health care to keep growing, creating a large number of jobs. the disappointing number there is manufacturing. we were hoping to see continued growth, but the aut ino the street did not do as well last month as they were expecting --
the automobile industry did not do as well as hope. host: are they the primary mover? guest: they are. caller: good morning. i believe that the republicans, the democrat party -- i don't know who for sure, the g-20 summit, decided years ago that the manufacturing country of the world would be china. they have regulated as other business, destroyed manufacturing in the u.s., and all these jobs will be nothing. they are taking people who were making $150,000, and leaving them on unemployment.
if they do create jobs, we will all be flipping burgers at mcdonald's. everyone is divided. you have republican callers saying it is democrats, and vice versa. the problem is, we have democrats, republicans who are corrupted. i do not see any real future in to we start manufacturing and making things. host: thanks, greg. where do you see a potential for growth in manufacturing beyond automotives? if someone were trying to get into business and provide jobs, where is the best place to start looking? guest: it is a tough call. we will see growth in production at the high tech sectors. but it will be more on the design side compared to that
actual production. as long as we still have to cheaper products to be produced overseas, we get benefit from buying the cheaper products. it is a trade-off for not producing a here to being able to buy it cheaper. host: one of the colors concerned about the proposal by the president is that companies would use the tax credits for research and development here only to produce cheaper goods overseas. guest: that is actually a concern. the focus will probably be specifically written to create jobs here in the u.s., but there is such inter-dependence across the world now, that we will see some things begun here will also be produced abroad. host: new york, on the line for republicans.
caller: this is a days. i am a republican. -- this is dave. i think there are a lot of smart people out there. it is an easy decision -- corporate tax, tax for everyone, for the next six months lower its by 40%. everyone will start hiring. i don't know why they're making the decisions so hard, for the next 36 months, 40% -- you will see growth in every sector. host: anything to dave's logic? guest: it is an interesting proposal. it comes to the debate about what will stimulate the economy. will be tax cuts, government spending, or something directly from the private sector? and we just need to wait for the economy to adjust? all those have strong arguments.
host: we're speaking with an assistant economics professor at george washington university. she also teaches programs in the macro economics, and is the co- director of the research program on forecasting. i assume that this economic forecasting? guest: that is right, although we do like to talk to weather forecasters. host: charleston, south carolina, ike. caller: good labor date for you folks, i'm currently in a state of mourning for the state of labor in my country. i will start with a simple question and follow with comment. if businesses do not pay tax, and just pass it on to the consumer, while they constantly crying for tax cuts? if you look at the balance sheets, they have plenty of money on hand. as far as the state of labor, a person that has been a lifelong construction worker, once his
manufacturing job got shipped out of country by unfair trade agreements, what good is it now when i go to construction sites and see employers breaking the law and hiring illegal immigrants to do the work? we have been decimated out here. i don't think you folks on the top, the people who sit in think tanks, and want to just talk about it like statistical anomalies -- y'all are just not getting the point. we are nearly broke, and desperate. we can debate all we want, but when it comes right down to it, we have to reverse these trade agreements and get control of our borders. we also have to start being american, buying american, and that will solve our problems. guest: back to his first point about the cash the firms are currently holding on the balance
sheets. this is a really interesting situation we are seeing with firms that seem to be doing rather well. the stock market is up, the firms have more cash and the balance sheets then we have ever seen historically before. yet they're not going ahead in spending it, either to buy new equipment, or to hire workers. we are looking for the reason why, and how to encourage it to happen. one thing people suggest is they are waiting to see the economy is stable, but also if there will be new regulations, or new stimulus packages coming out. why spend money now if you might get matching dollars if you would if you months? -- if you wait a few months? host: the president said this tax credit was not a second
stimulus package. how would you differentiate the two? guest: it is tricky. any time the government either cuts taxes or increases spending, that is a stimulus package. but you can be more or less specific. the more targeted, the more likely they will say it is a particular policy, not a general stimulus. host: columbus, ga., on the line for independents. caller: i have a question for your guest. i'm currently a senior in college in very skeptical of my ability to get a job, even with criminal justice as my bachelor's degree. i see there is a high influx of over-skilled and old folks in the work force, and you folks can i get in. as far as the trend goes, when
you have you folks between 16 and 24 who are outpaced by competitors being 65 and older in the lower paying jobs, how precisely are we going to cope with a brain drain and skill will dip when those individuals retire? guest: that is an interesting question. it is the opposite of what we normally hear. normally we hear that competition is constantly entering for the older workers who originally paid more based on their experience. every year we have new college graduates with fresh turning and energy coming in it. we are normally concerned about the other direction. at this point, we're still looking at seeing the benefit from having the older workers stay in the labor force longer.
if we look at college graduates and how well they're doing in the market, they're still doing better than any other groups. host: west bloomfield, mich., on the line for republicans. caller: president obama is trying to get a capital gains tax relief for small businesses. tell me if i'm wrong. you only have a capital gain if you sell something like real- estate or stock. most businesses do not have capital gains. they have gains. how can you straighten that discrepancy for me? guest: that when i'm not sure about. it is more of a finance question. new orleans,o to louisiana, on the line for democrats. caller: good morning.
i have noticed that whenever you have guests on, it has become apparent that these are republicans because they always seem to give you the final answer from republicans point of view. the question is this. when not have a flat tax? everyone pays taxes everyone is complaining. you pay taxes every day, every time you buy something. 90% of those complaining about the taxes probably do not even make $12,000 per year, but everyone is bashing the president because he is doing everything he can to help all america. it is not about republicans or democrats. he has been criticized for everything. host: tara sinclair. guest: that is a really interesting point because you bring a first of all, the concern about the bias of the
guest, yet the same time you suggest a flat tax which tends to lean more towards republican policies. i think the flat tax is not politically feasible right now, but it keeps coming back into the discussion. i think we will seek new proposals about new tax formats as we go forward. host: you say that is not politically feasible right now, but do you see either now or sometime in the future that a flat tax would be economically feasible? guest: i do think there are some interesting aspects to it. one, about being able to tax when people consume something, choose to buy something, rather than taxing their labor and work. it might stop distorting the labor market is so much.
host: earlier we were talking about the disparity between the young and old. we have numbers from the u.s. labor department. for 16 and over the total unemployment for last month was 9.6%. in december 2007, it was only 5%. for dolmen 20 and over the unemployment rate was 9.8% back -- for adult007 men. teenagers, the unemployment rate is 26.3%. 2007, december, 16.9%. do you see anything on the horizon changing that? wanting to hire someone you can pay less money? for now because of those
situations, is it that employers can choose, and afford to spend less and still get more experience with older workers? guest: with teenagers they generally take part-time jobs. right now we have about 9 million your taking part-time jobs and they would rather have a full-time job. teen-agers have a lot of competition. host: canton, ga., on the line for independents. caller: good morning. a quick comment. we the people are not the problem. we have elected people and sent them to washington. they represent themselves, not us the people. we need to quit collecting lifetime, career politicians, and quit collecting lawyers. why are our laws to a dozen
pages long? i can be straightened out simple problems with our tax code? they are representing themselves so they can have their own little tax lips -- why are our laws to thousand pages long? they will have their own little tax loops. host: tara sinclair? guest: we're seeing an interesting pattern right now in terms of the views of the public compared to those of politicians. i would like to see from politicians a clear articulation of why the policies they are advocating will make a difference at this time. some policies they are doing are not been detailed enough or supported with evidence i think
the people would believe in. host: we got this from the associated press by julie, talking about the president to back infrastructure spending, vowing to find new ways to stimulate the economy. president obama will call for long-term investments in the nation's roads, railways, and railroads. the infrastructure investments are one part of a package of targeted proposals. the white house is expected to announce in hopes of jump starting the economy ahead of the november election. he will outline of puzzles at a labor day event in the milwaukee on monday. -- he will outline these proposals then. can these infrastructure projects jump-start the economy, as the president hopes? can it be? wpa?
guest: the concern is both the timing and the size. $50 billion sounds like a lot, but for infrastructure spending and may not be a substantial amount. on the other side, thinking about time to jump-start the economy by november, it will be a challenge. we have our leasing our shovel- ready barges were not so ready. host: we're talking with tara sinclair of the george washington university. she spent time as a real-estate appraisal analyst in chicago, and a visiting scholar at the st. louis federal reserve. you got some experience and the housing market. tell us where you see that
going, and if we can look to that market to provide some jobs? guest: unfortunately, the housing market is not looking strong as a sector in the near future. when we looked at what happened leading up to the recession we saw a housing crash. it was one reason why the recession is so deep and long, and the recovery is faltering. there is still a lot of existing housing on the market. we need the construction of new housing. host: bakersfield, california, the line for republicans. caller: a survey shows the unemployment of kids being so high -- one main reason for that, especially here in california -- when i was growing up, i worked as a dishwasher. i worked on an ice cream truck, for our gardener, construction,
at hotels. today in the bakersfield all those jobs are held by mexicans. my kids and grandkids will never be able to get it any practical job experience of any kind during those entry-level type of jobs. it is ironic. the democrats hands-off policy on illegal immigration -- it is hurting minorities, more than anyone else. it is poetic justice, but very sad. guest: one of the interesting things about the pattern of illegal immigration is that it has fallen substantially. that is according to the pew's most recent report. they're not sure how much is due to the lack of economic opportunities as compared to the
more tight restrictions at the border. but we still see it is a substantial drop, the first we've seen. perhaps those jobs will reopen for the teenagers. host: the line for democrats, nancy. caller: i wanted to ask about unemployment insurance and the disparity with lumping everyone together. the teenagers, all the workers. and skilled workers who still are in their prime at 35 up to 45 years old. i am 61. i worked for 44 years. i am having a very difficult time keeping up my skills, and also competing in the job market.
why would someone want to hire someone who is 61? host: what kind of work do you do? caller: i have done office work. i was a legal secretary for many years. i work for county government, and in the private sector as an office manager. i retired a couple of years ago during the housing boom. i have a real estate license. i also went to school after retirement and received a license for skin care. so, unfortunately both of those industries were booming before the housing bust. now neither is. i have lost my office skills. guest: i think nancy is doing
exactly the right things. she is re-still in when there are new opportunities out there. i am hopeful -- particularly the skin care industry -- we do expect to see that return. she is re-skilling. she is doing exactly the right things. unfortunately, it is a tough time to have the baby boomers at this state. she is doing the right things to mitigate the impact on her life. good for her. host: the labor department also provided these numbers regarding unemployment along ethnic lines. in august 2010 the unemployment rate for white people was 8.7%. back in december 2007 it was
4.4%. do you see those numbers changing, or will there always be that disparity? guest: one of the reasons there is some much disparity there is because it corresponds to the education.levels of vacati those are the raw rates that partly masked the education levels. it is an unfortunate pattern we see throughout time. it is about doubled since the peak of the economy. that is for every group.
but groups that began at a higher base are now really bearing the brunt. host: you talk about education. more labor department numbers based on education -- for those with less than a high-school diploma, age 25 and over, their unemployment rate is 14%. back in december 2007 it was 7.8%. here is where it jumps, drastically decreases -- bachelor's degrees and higher for people 25 and older, 4.6%. guest: right. this is where education is key. we see this as a pattern going forward.
when jobs are ride again, it will first go to college graduates. host: will be those with bachelor's degrees, or will the job market become more selective and tend to go for people with masters, phd's, and more advanced degrees? guest: it is rather the majors and skills the students are acquiring in college that will matter. host: fairfax, va., on the line for independents. juan. caller: good morning. some have an economics question. i saw a bumper sticker the other day that said no child left a dime -- a spoof. could you break it down to me so that a sixth grader could understand it?
the partisan bickering -- the democrats are blamed for spinning, the republicans for wanting tax cuts. the end result for both is the coffers would be raided. if the spending is the do it now, get results now raiding, and the lack of taxation which will also take it away -- was their benefit to be there? guest: the public is very concerned about the government not having enough money for their expenditures. oftentimes we see people demand the government spend more cut taxes. but we are actually worried about the future solvency of our government budget.
breaking down the tax cuts compared to government spending perspective. you're right, either way we will have to pay it in the long run. will we be able to stimulate the economy so that it will feel like less when we are paying it back? the tax cuts on the republican side is believed to stimulate businesses. it will happen the private sector. from the government spending perspective from democrats, it is something that will drive the economy forward today. rather than waiting for trickle- down from firms, they can spend it directly. then we have the terminology of multiplier -- how much bang will we get? the democrats argue the multiplier will be higher for
government spending. republicans say will be higher for tax cuts. host: in your experience as an economics professor, which do see working better? the tax cuts and trickle-down, or the infusion of cash by the government? guest: my own personal stance those lean more towards the government spending. in particular, one concern we have now is if we look at the state budgets --they are being cut now. it is a drag on the economy. you could have some federal government, where the federal entity can run a deficit, but states cannot. host: kansas, on the line for
republicans. caller: i have a comment, and would like to ask a question. i believe the stimulus was a train wreck. regarding the future, my daughter and her husband are a middle-class family and make $80,000 per year. that is with both of them working. they cannot afford to send their children to college. if you are poor you get grants. if you are rich, it does not matter because you have the money to do it. but they cannot even afford to send their children to the university of kansas. if you look at other countries like germany, it is not based on money.
if i'm correct, it is based on your early education, based on your abilities and desires to go on. yet the middle-class in this country cannot afford to go to school. so what are we going to do about that? guest: that is an excellent point. there's definitely a gap between those who can get grants based on need, compared to those who can afford to pay. then there is the middle group who are really challenged. the american approach to education is because the high- skilled, college-educated will make more money, it might be reasonable for them to take out loans and pay those back over time. that is very different from the european system where they believe all the way through college the education is
beneficial to all of society, and the responsibility of taxpayers. we pay lower taxes than europeans do. this is a trade-off. host: you hear of some laypeople was to the ones that drag on for years. the president says his stallone's continued almost until the time he got into politics. guest: that is true. those burdens are substantial. what is interesting is that colleges and charge the fees no matter your major. and get the returns to the from majors are substantially different. -- said of different majors are different. if people follow their hearts and pursue fields that may be more enjoyable but payless have a hard time paying off their loans.
or in president obama's case, if you get to a very expensive law school. host: west palm beach, on the line for democrats. caller: first, a comment. i hear a lot of political jargon saying that president obama has put us three trillion dollars in debt. all i remember is he is responsible for a $787,000 stimulus. it would be george bush on the hook for the $800 billion that hank paulson conned us out of. the second thing -- the behavior of banks is a lot different than in past recessions. when a recession hits in the unemployment becomes low, and people's credit scores start to hurt, the banks would tend to flow with the credit score.
if someone drop from 700 down to 600, the bank would bring down their requirements and when those people money. but now you have the opposite effect where people with 720's and 800's are still not getting the loans they need. we have a real estate market or any chance of getting equity in your home to support a small business is gone. most small businesses that are hiring between 10 and 15 employees are not dealing with bank credit lines. they are dealing with mastercards for the use to get offers at 0% for six months. that would give them some flow. i don't see this being addressed
as a major problem. host: we will leave it there because we're running out of time. guest: he had a lot of great points. most of these issues about credit scores and credit availability is tied into the recession having been started partly by a financial crisis. therefore, things are very hesitant to loan. they have really cut back. there have been policies brought about in the congress and at the federal reserve level where they've focused on credit cards and making them easier to pay down. as well as more transparent as to what you are getting when you put money on the card. but also when you're thinking about the credit scores, this is one of the problems of the crisis. banks started not to trust these scores anymore. they have been burned.
they are trying to be more strict. it is a difficult time for them to do that. host: tara sinclair, thanks for being on the program. in a few minutes, a discussion on what is next in afghanistan. first, a news update. >> the labor secretary speaking earlier on several network tv shows says the president is focusing on helping the jobless and under-employed. the president is doing a good job, she added. she pointed to the recovery act last year and proposals for job training and hiring incentives, noting over the last eight months the u.s. economy has added some 90,000 private sector jobs each month. the president plans to spend tens of billions on the nation's roads, railways, and railroads,
later in milwaukee. you can hear the remarks live at 3:00 p.m. eastern. more fighting in baghdad just days after the u.s. officially ended combat operations in iraq. there was an assault on an iraqi military headquarters. it was the first exchange of fire since august 31. the fighting killed 12 and wounded dozens. >> this week, the competitive market of pay tv. the future of a 3d for consumers with the sony president, tonight on c-span2. >> congress returns from break next week. here's a look at some prime time programming right after president obama's speech tonight. watch town hall meetings with the republican oklahoma senator, and the independent vermont senator who both talked about
health care. >> i believe the plan is for this plan to fail. i know this plan will fail. health insurance will be way too high. you will create adverse selection. anybody young who is healthy -- will pay the fine in 2014 rather than spend $9,000. it is smart, because if you get sick, they have to cover you. it does not rise until $795 until 2019. the healthy, young people will not be in the insurance pool. what will happen to those over 40 who are sick? to the cost of their insurance? that is what i think they have designed it to fail. there would like to have it revert back. to say we need a government-run, mandated single-payer healthcare system. >> in my view, if we're serious
about having a cost-effective, high-quality health care system which guarantees health care to every person, the way to go is a medicare for all, single-payer system. if vermont leads the country, you are right. we will be deluged with lobbyists and big money interests. why? because if the small state of vermont, 630,000 people, can show that the medicare for all, single-payer system works, then the work is not far behind. then the rest of the country comes. >> we will show you both of these in their entirety after our re-airing of the president's speech tonight. "book tv continues tomorrow on the textbook industry and writing her own, including her 10-volume series.
in the prime-time on tuesday on2 on. "washington journal" continues. host: we will speak for the next 45 minutes about what is next in afghanistan with brig. gen. jefforey smith -- the combined security transition command and joins us live from kabul. so, there is a little bit of a delay between the u.s. and kabul, afghanistan. good morning, and welcome to the show. guest: good morning. it is great to be here today. host: what is the current situation in afghanistan for guarding the elections and security preparations for those? guest: that is a great question.
there is a lot of focus here in afghanistan, particularly with the ministry of the interior. they have been involved in a deliberate planning process, not only with the administer the defense, but also with coalition forces. there is enormous proportion under way. many of the activities that are going on are clearly on the right path. at this time we are about 96% where we need to be on getting set for the elections. host: sir, in "the washington post" this morning, the lead story talks about the situation bankers whosehan answe assets have been frozen. the authorities have barred the sale of properties held by the bank's principal owners, but the freeze and excludes president karzai's brother.
the third-largest shareholder. he says he does not own property in the afghan capital. can you fill us in on what is going on there? talk to can't really the question you asked regarding the bank. we do depend on the bank for the pay for the afghan national police. we have gone through tremendous progress over the past year, getting the entire police force registered for the electronic fund transfer. it has had a huge impact on accountability and transparency. it is an issue we are watching closely. it has been positive progress in terms of guaranteeing that the police get paid through the etf. host: there was a story in "the
post" last month -- the headline, afghans view police and judiciary as corrupt. what has been your experience working with the afghan police? guest: that is a great question. let me focus first on the afghan national police. corruption and anti-corruption is a high priority for the new minister of the interior. when he first came in two months ago, he established it as one of his top three priorities. there is an enormous effort to get programs in place, set policies, an attack some challenges. not only is it one of his priorities, it is also one of
the strategic priorities for the afghan national police strategy. there is a lot of effort under way within the ministry of the interior. for example, he is very focused on transparency and accountability. within his first one month in office he signed an anti- corruption policy that is in the initial stages of being implemented. part of his personal effort as the new minister is to personally get out and check to my get his leadership involved in understanding where the corruption is taking place. and personally take action to put solutions in place for the overall effort to reduce the level of corruption. the message from he himself, it is an issue. he recognizes the is a problem. he is personally engaged in
getting after it. on a larger scale, he is personally involved and engaged with the major crimes task force that comes underneath the ministry of the interior to make sure they are properly equipped and resources to do investigations within the afghan law, and provide leadership needed to work serious cases under development. in short, it is certainly a problem. it is an issue everyone is focused on from the president down. there has been deliberate action by the new minister of the interior to put programs in place to work on it. it will take quite some time to get a grip on it. host: the first question comes from connecticut, steve, on the
line for independents. caller: good morning, brig. gen. jefforey smith. i grew up in the 1970's. in the vietnam-post-era. but since it to us and six, i don't know what you did, but i'm really proud of you -- cents 2006. whatever you did wis iraq, it is very impressive. i did not believe in guys alike ray odierno. i did not think he had it in him to change his philosophy. i do not want to see us lose our grade officers. as far as afghanistan is concerned, i see less some of these with iraq, and more with president calderon in mexico and the narcotics state trafficking. what are the lessons learned in a iraq, and heavy but any learn
from colombia or mexico into the fight in afghanistan? guest: that is a very good question, one we're looking at closely. my personal role working with the minister of the interior, we have had these discussions about where to look outside afghanistan, and what lessons we can draw that would be conducive to getting out some of the narco-trafficking and trade in afghanistan. it is in many respects feeling the insurgency. the minister is very focused on this issue. he personally, within the first 45 days of office, made a trip down to one of our counter- narcotics units.
this unit is very well-trimmed. it is one of the top priority in its inside the national police here. he made it his personal interests. -- the unit is very well- trained. we had some successes in helman and kandahar, and he thanked them for the progress. i think he has the right stuff to interdict these kind of activities. some of the lessons learned from colombia and other places is being shared with the minister. one of the issues is looking nine is major policy issues and national resource issues to set the policies and the right place so we can have more
deliberate effort to get after some of the church. he recently went through a major leadership change -- deliberate effort to get after some of the problem. there will be a new focus, look at some policies. in short, we are looking at a number of areas. looking at ways we can improve and assist afghan so with the more deliberate and operations to counter this threat that is in many ways feeling in funding the insurgency. he has the right leaders, right priorities that he will set in the near future to make progress. host: our next call comes from
bill in pontiac, mich., on the line for independents. caller: those general smith really believe there such a thing as al qaeda, or is it a bunch of mercenaries? guest: clearly, al qaeda and what they represent is an extreme in theology -- ideology that serves no purpose, and is counter-productive to what normal societies want. the activities they represent and the murders they impose on the people is unacceptable by any normal standard. it is an organization, network the represents an ideology that
no religion adults. it intends to try to bring harm on innocent civilians. you have seen that in afghanistan, it in iraq. the day to day activities they are involved in is clearly against anything normal citizens expect or want. host: sir, in the august 27 of "the detroit news" the talked about taliban insurgency spreading and write that attacks in the west and north of the country demonstrate that the taliban is becoming a threat across wide areas of afghanistan, even as the u.s. and partners mount a major effort to turn the tide of the nearly nine-year old war in the south. your comments?
guest: what we are seeing in many arrests as we saw between 2005 and 2007 with the surge in iraq. in both cases, when you put pressure on the enemy and the one area, they tend to move to areas of less resistance. we will continue to put pressure, track down the taliban where ever they are. we will take the necessary efforts along with afghan partners to find them and protect the people of afghanistan by any means. host: the next call is from milwaukee, wisconsin. caller: what do you think we the u.s. are doing that will achieve victory for the british could not?
the russians could not. not long ago, i remember the taliban being called freedom fighters. i think that i remember having a photograph, scene photographs of some tbn members or freedom fighters, and next to it -- of some taliban members, or freedom fighters, and next to it -- maybe not a general, but i remember it. i do not see that anymore anywhere. what are we doing that there will be a victory achieved where other countries have not? it reminds me of vietnam. the french were there, and left. we got in, and from now because that was not a victory. it was just running, hanging on helicopters. what do you think is being done
now? guest: that is a really great question. i think there are couple of things going on that very important for your audience to know. one is that the afghans are engaged -- many activities and programs and strategies in place are emanating from the afghans. i will focus primarily on the minister of the interior and what he is doing to not only increase the size of their force, but also to improve the quality of their force. just in the past year, the afghans have made significant progress and have grown the police totional pleas 19,000. the quality of the force has also been improving.
there is a lot of progress that needs to be made, but the afghan people are starting to have a bit more trust in the national police, the starting to have a bit more confidence in the national police, and to protect them. we are seeing evidence of that in a number of locations throughout the nation. we have a right momentum, and with the right inputs from the past 18 or 24 months in afghanistan, the right leadership within the minister of interior, and energy he has -- i think the police and minister will make a huge difference over the next 12 to 18 months. the short answer is, the afghans are taking a more pro-active activities to get up some of these challenges.
one thing to understand is the environment has been war-torn for more than 30 years. many systems that must be in place for a fully functioning government are still under development. the good news is, we're partnered with the afghans to assist. without doubt, they have made progress on a number of systems in a number of processes that they need a place to run a functioning government and industry. there are many positive indicators that have been made over the past year. the continued effort and inputs we have gotten here in the past 18 months -- there will continue to make progress. clearly, the afghans are focused -- many of the people you referred to regarding the taliban are the past. the russians when they were here in the 1980's -- many of the
leaders of the country are the same but then who fought against both the russians and the taliban. they are very focused. they understand the environment and what needs to be done to take afghanistan to a different level. host: brig. gen. jefforey smith is the afghanistan assistant general, speaking live to us from kabul. this next call comes from steve in houston, texas. caller: what about the drone attacks in pakistan? are those working? who would you say is the second leader of afghanistan, besides mr. karzai? would be your guide bekarzai is not in power?
-- who would be your guy? guest: those are two questions i cannot comment on. the tactics and techniques we use in afghanistan are effective. i will not comment on any operations in the pakistan. it is outside the theater in which i am operating. as far as the political dynamics, president karzai is the president of afghanistan, and we're fully behind him and support him. host: alexandria, va., on the line for democrats. caller: hello, general. has there been any progress on getting rid of the textbooks that we sent their to afghanistan and pakistan -- which sent there, that were
referred to as the abc's of jihad -- they had photographs of violence and military. instead, we should be promoting music books and arts and crafts. we need a war on warism. is there any progress in that? guest: well, i'm not familiar with the books you are referring to, but i can tell you we are very focused on literacy and literacy development among the afghan people. in the past year we have increased the literacy courses -- we have over 13,000 police officers or students in training
on literacy. we do believe that literacy and education is very important to growth and development of the force. the minister of interior himself has made training and education his number one priority when he came in as minister. we are partnered with the afghans not only to improve the quality of the force, but to improve their education. we have a robust literacy program doing that. host: the ap reported late in august this year that president karzai has reiterated his intention to disband private security contractors by the beginning of next year. the u.s. military officials said it will work with him to achieve that goal. how is that process working so far?
guest: the process is working well so far. we clearly support the president's decision to take this action, and have been involved from the beginning, working with the minister of the interior who has the president to leave for implementing policies to enforce it. the minister of interior is a chairman of a coordination board of which i am personally an observer on the board. we have had some very deliberate sessions over the past two weeks to work and develop courses of action and the plantation plans that will implement the president's decree. as you are probably aware, --
we are very concerned about the process. we're working closely with the afghans to make sure that we can assist them in any way they need help as they develop the strategy to develop policy. the key day is we're going through a very deliberate process. they understand the concerns of having a security vacuum, of the economic impact that will be a result of some of the disbanding of these companies. i think they have all of the right people engaged. we will be making recommendations to the national security council in afghanistan. host: general, what is the
current situation with the counterinsurgency strategy as it affects the major offensive that was planned in the khandahar region? guest: the police are involved in what we are doing in the south. we have a number of afghan national police units, both uniformed and the afghan civil order police that are deployed in the southern areas of afghanistan as a direct part of this campaign strategy. i will not go into big details or operational details about what is going on, but suffice it to say, their contribution in the overall campaign is very, very important. one. they're making a very important impact is with the tabling of
the afghan uniformed police -- with enabling the afghan uniformed police. with a good portion of the national police that have not been trained over the course of the past few years. we have implemented programs here where we take uniformed police off of the street and put them through a very deliberate training program. in their absence, while in training, the afghan national civil order police is deployed to those districts and regions where we implement this kind of reform. the afghan civil order police are making a big impact, particularly in the south, as we do this training. in short, they contribute in a number of ways. one way is enabling forces to be pulled off line to be trained and in some cases retrained and we inserted back to the district. in other areas, they are
directly involved with the campaign and some operations that are ongoing. host: we have this twitter message. how can any army control 20,000 villages with people of different cultures and religions starks -- religions? guest: that is a very good question and is an example of the complexity that exists here in afghanistan. one. have been working on with the afghans, and the minister of the interior himself on the police side, he has been focusing to make sure we have balance in the force across all the background here in afghanistan. we recently had several trips we took to kandahar and in every location that the minister of the interior travels, he brings
the police to gather. he services to organizations to see what kind of ethnic backgrounds are actually in the units out there operating in the field. he has been quite surprised, as i have, at how balanced the force is. when they have the right goals and objectives. i think they've understand the sensitivities of the ethnic activities in the country and the ethnic background. there is a respect for the various cultures and ethnic backgrounds. i think they are moving forward in a positive direction. host: general smith, a person can go from being in the street to specialized training in the
period 18 months to two years in the extreme. we have this twitter message and want to know, in afghanistan it has been nine years and we could train them to become doctors or architects. your thoughts, sir? guest: great question. part of the answer gets back to what i was talking about earlier regarding the literacy rate of the people of afghanistan and in particular the security forces. we are working to improve the literacy rate. i think that will make a difference as removal forward over the next several years. the other issue is that it is a very difficult environment in which to develop institutions, develop government that was nonexistent before 2001. also we have to build, but the ministry of defence and the
ministry of interior with an entire army and police with the ground up. everything you can imagine from individual training to having a budget office with the department of the interior and all the specific details that go into making a government and making institutions run, this all has to start from the bottom. it is a very difficult challenge for go i think the inputs and the resources that may now have in afghanistan, that quite correctly we did not have in the earlier years of this operation, will show the results of that here in the next several years. it is a good question and it is one we're working very closely on. i think the quality, performance, and capability of both the police said the army are head and shoulders above
where they were several years ago. host: our next call comes from sandoz, missouri, on our line for independencts. caller: a have a comment and a question. i cannot believe that knowing the history of the united states government that we are doing anything good over there. i do not believe we care about those people. i think this is about drugs and minerals. my question to you is why is the flag on your uniform backwards? thank you. guest: and that the, but not the question. -- i got the comment, but not the question. host: the flag on your right arm she said it faces backwards and wanted to know about that. guest: that is just a uniform
policy and standard that we have. our next call comes from our live for republicans. caller: thank you so much for your service in afghanistan. my question has to do with the relationship between economic wealth like mineral deposits and the ability to conduct counterinsurgency warfare over a long period of time. it seems to me the value in iraq was the economic potential of having an ally with such economic welfare. the strategy of that and protected the people included. without the mineral wealth in the north, i did not know how we can accomplish success in afghanistan. can you comment on the status of the mineral wells and howard fortin that is to conduct
counterinsurgency warfare -- how important that is. guest: i can comment on the mineral wealth of afghanistan. it is very important and vital to the national income they can generate. the size and capability of the force has to be affordable over time. i think activities like that and the potential for growth and the potential for economic activity will only be good if they can develop that kind of industry in afghanistan to give them that kind of independence to give them other growth and wealth factors which they can years. host: general smith, the president will be talking with the nato secretary-general at the white house tomorrow. tell us about the relationship between the u.s. forces, nato
forces in afghanistan and the training of the afghan military and security forces. how much is it nato involved in their training? guest: native is heavily involved. we couldn't -- we rely on many contributing nations in nato to help train the afghans. many of our development functions have to do with the department of the interior. they're making a huge difference in what we're doing here. host: columbus, ga., on our life for democrats. you are on with general smith. caller: good morning.
i am an old soldier from vietnam and desert storm. for the lady who called about the war where we got your killing all of the vietnamese. what do we do with united states homegrown terrorists? those fighting with the caliban -- taliban. military law is something about hanging. i know we are supposed the civilized, but if you fight against your country did you need to be hong publicly -- hung publicly. what is our policy against that? guest: offender stand your question, all policies are that we operate within the laws of the were fair. that is how we operate and how we expect all of our soldiers,
airmen, and marines to do. host: general smith from kabul, afghanistan, about the future of afghanistan. thank you for being on the program. in a few minutes, we will be talking to barbara kiviat, the author of that this recent "time" magazine article. >> 9:13 a.m. eastern eastern time. afghans are voicing anchor about the plans of a georgia church to burn copies of the qaran. hundreds gathered to chant, "death to america." the israel foreign minister said they are hoping to and
settlements. they have promised that the slowdown would end in a few weeks. palestinians say they will quit the talks if settlement construction continues. united nations say they need it additions to get food, water, medicine to pakistan is had by the flood. they need at least double the four murdered $6 million they asked for last month that the start of the -- double the four murdered $60 million. tropical storm hermine is moving through the gulf of mexico and is expected to bring rain to northern mexico and south texas. >> congress returns from break next week. here's a look at some of the prime-time programming right after president obama's speech tonight. watch tom -- town hall meetings
with republican oklahoma senator tom coburn. >> i believe the plan is for this plan to fail. as a matter of fact, i know this plan will fail. health insurance will be way too high. we will create what is called an adverse selection. anybody on that is healthy, you will pay the fine in the 2014 rather than spending $7,000 on health insurance. it is smart. because if you get sick, they have to cover you. it will rise to $795 in 2016 for a fine. what will happen? the help the young people will not be in the insurance pool. what will happen to the people over 40 who are sick? what will happen to the cost of their insurance? that is why i think they have designed this to fail. ultimately they would like this to revert back to be able to tell you that insurance does not run because the what the government abroad, government
mandated single payer health care system. >> in my view, if we are serious about having a cost-effective high-quality health care system which guarantees health care to every man, woman, and child, the way to go is a medicare for all system. if a vermont leads the country, if we are going to be diluted with lobbyists and big money, if the small state of vermont, all 630,000, if we can show that in medicare for all single payer system works, but then the other states are not far behind. there is california and the rest of the country. >> we will show you these in the entirety right after the rearing of the president's speech to run c-span. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining me is barbara
kiviat from "time" magazine on rethinking homeownership. it has long been said that owning a home was the cornerstone of the american dream. it is not so anymore? guest: this is the point of the story. for decades we have taken home ownership to be a an automatic good. home ownership is good or stability for tens of millions of american families. the point of the story is that when we put home ownership of on a pedestal, we are ignoring a series of trade-offs. we probably should take those into account a little more, especially in the wake of the worst real-estate collapse its -- since the great depression. now wish to take a step back and look at home ownership.
if homeownership will continue to be this social, cultural, and political good, what are we giving up? host: break down boras. who is homeownership good for? here is it not good for? guest: i did not to be in the position of saying that any particular family should or should not buy a house. my argument is that the federal government spends their subsidies and tax breaks more than $100 million a year in order to push people toward the decision of home ownership. a better system might be of to be a little more agnostic about whether this is good for any particular family. there are a series of reasons why it may not be good for a particular family. home ownership really lock you down. you cannot move as quickly. that is certainly true right now with 11 million mortgage
owners going lower on their house than the property is worth. -- owners owing more on their house. this is true that the level of the individual worker as well as corporations. when you have these assets locking you down, you are less flexible in moving to a new area. it is a little tougher to move away to a place where a there are jobs. another example of something we may not be need to think about a little more is that for use it was assumed that high rates of home ownership produce a lot of social good, so a benefit for society overall. kids tend to do better in school, people are more active in their communities. when you really dig in and look at this literature from special
economists, you will start to see that there is very little research that really locks that down. it seems in most cases that there may be something else causing those benefits, like a stable family life. guest: -- host: we wer talking with barbara kiviat. the case of home ownership is supposed to make us better citizens, better off. we would like for you to get involved in the conversation. we have our numbers divided into different categories for this discussion. homeowners call -- renters call -- and those who have had their homes foreclosed -- we want to find out what your situation is. because these numbers are different than our usual or --
renters 202-737-0002 and those who have been foreclosed 202- 628-0205. barbara kiviat, you have been blogging. you talk about the fannie mae and freddie may morass. tell us what that has done to the situation guest: the most discreet way that washington is rethinking how we should be approaching homeownership is figuring out what to do with fannie mae and freddie mac. obviously, they were taken back under the auspices of government under the bush administration.
the number that is out there is more than $150 billion worth of taxpayer money has already gone into these entities. i think one of the most important things to think about that i rarely hear talk about considering what to do or re- establishing how much government should be involved is that it is largely because there are masses and federal laws in the housing market that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the standard mortgage in the united states. that is very rare. we are largely in fixed-rate mortgages. if you look around world to other industrialized countries, we are the only one. there is this possibility of that it is only because the government is largely standing behind this market that lenders have come to accept that as the standard mortgage product. it is not a good deal for them.
banks want to lend long-term said it would rather have a variable rate. 30 years is an eternity. some return. that is my only comment. my follow-up question would be, why you think the government should have their hand in some policy which would incentivize individuals to grow their own savings as opposed to just letting people do it themselves very much, barbara. guest: i want to respond to your comment that i will answer your question. you said your looking to buy a house, maybe a home. you talked about the rate of return my article starts with
herbert hoover. it has been a decades-long idealizations of home ownership. then there's the most recent boom and bust which is not unique to recent history. certainly there was not a run-up in property prices before the plunge in the 1930 proxy as well. how much should the price of a house go up each year? we got used to the idea that the answer is substantially. a house is an investment. if you stop and think about what makes an asset viable, why should a house ever go up in value if you factor in the case for inflation? basically what you bought is a depreciating asset. when you drive a car off the lot, it goes down in value.
you do not expect that to ever gain in value. when you invest in a stop, that makes sense. the company has a productive use for that money. and you would expect a greater return. a house just sits there. part of the recent story is that we came to expect to match our of our houses. we saw them as not just a place to live and raise a family but also as a fantastic investments and maybe we need to calibrate that. that.